Sunday, February 27, 2011

Some Progress

Gerre and I walked what we thought was our 5K on Monday and I surely felt it but this old gray mare, she ain't what she used to be; however, I made it. Afterwards I played bunco at Judy's house and we had a fun time as always. I'm trying real hard not to eat all the goodies just because they are there. Sometimes I'm more successful than others.

My hair was in real need of a cut and color so I took the first appointment Tuesday morning to get that out of the way. Our new bed was delivered after I returned home and I got the room back in order. We had to get a blanket which I had forgotten to get while at Bed, Bath and Beyond so we went to Stein Mart to buy one and also bought a new lamp. We rehung the mirror and picture. Another thing completed.

I was tired and contemplated a nap when I realized I had to play Canasta at 6:30 and it was Ted's Skeet League night. So off we went in different directions. Afterwards, Sue Anne and Celeste came by to help us decide about the tile for the backsplash. We had a couple we thought would work but they have a better eye for color than we do so we appreciated their input.

Wednesday morning we told the tile place what we wanted our tile guy to use but now we can't get him to call us back! I was on such a roll accomplishing things. We know it takes 2-3 days to get the tile from Dallas and I do want this done before our company comes.

Ted had his yearly surveillance endoscopy and Dr. W. said all looked well. He took one small biopsy and called a few days later to say there were no surprises there, just come back next year and continue with his Nexium.

My new Thursday afternoon Canasta group met this week so I played again. Bunco and Canasta are fast becoming my favorite charities because I always seem to donate my $5 and never get any returns on my investment. There are 16 players in this group so you play with different partners all the time.

On Friday Gerre and I did our 5K one more time. However, Gerre used her pedometer again and it says the marked one-kilometer track only registers .45 of a mile and not .6. That comes out to 2.25 miles instead of 3. I called the Parks and Recs to ask about this but no one has called me back. I want an explanation.

Rebecca cleaned and Ted and I shopped for the CWJF Provisional Rodeo Round Up party Saturday night. We were hoping for some nice weather because Pat's backyard is fabulous. We dropped all our purchases off at Pat's and discussed the plans for Saturday.

We were up early Saturday morning and headed to town with Barry & Gerre. It was a bit misty at first which made a nice temperature for walking but didn't do anything for hairdos. Whether mist or sweat, your hair looks pretty bad at the end of the race anyway.

We finished in under an hour which is really good if we are doing only 2.25 miles in our daily walk in the same amount of time. We grabbed some water and yogurt at the after race booths and then set out to find Ted and Barry. They had gone to Katz's for breakfast while we walked. Sissies! We were on the SW corner of Minute Maid park and they were standing at the NE corner so we ended up walking another one or two kilometers to meet up with them. They did take us to Wuenche's in Old Town Spring for lunch. It was an enjoyable day for all of us.

Last night's party at Pat's turned out wonderful. She had the driveway lined with luminaries with a Rodeo banner hung in a tree. Her backyard has a beautiful free form pool, gazebo bar and outdoor kitchen. She borrowed a portable fireplace and had a fire going. We served guacamole, queso and salsa with chips as appetizers along with wine, beer, soft drinks, water and ice tea. For dinner we had brisket, pulled pork, sausage, potato salad, baked beans and cole slaw. There were about six different pies and cobblers for dessert. Decorations were cowboy hats, colored kerchiefs and western serving dishes and napkins. We all did a bang up job and our two CWJF leaders were proud of us.

Today of course was church and now I am on a clear liquid diet and have to start drinking that "stuff" about 6 pm followed by a second round at 5 am tomorrow. My colonoscopy is scheduled for noon tomorrow. I'll be SO GLAD when this test is over.

I'll talk to you all later next week.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Chasing My Tail

We were home by noon Saturday and are still stumped about the stupid beeping of the refrigerator. It is obviously not the refrigerator nor the door. We are going to Rayford RV Resort in March to go with them to the casino in Kinder, LA. We get to stay at the park for two nights for $20 (and one night in Kinder for $78 that includes transportation, room and $46 in gambling money - woo hoo!). That will give us a chance to clean the carpets and to see what happens with the refrigerator again. It would be helpful if Norcold technicians were better versed in what could be wrong.

As usual we had lots of laundry to do and some mail with checks for the family reunion in June and the Junior Forum party that is next week. I've had to keep the lists and the money separate for these occasions. Lots of recordkeeping. We opted not to go to church until Sunday but we did go to El Chapparo for dinner. We didn't eat any Mexican food while down in the valley and we missed it. It was the 50th anniversary of our first date back in 1961. We were at a record hop on a Sunday afternoon and Ted asked me to go to the Cavalcade of Customs Auto Show at Cincinnati's Music Hall auditorium that night. And so it began ...

After church on Sunday we went to Mattress Expo and bought a new queen size mattress for the guest room. It will be delivered tomorrow. Since we were right next to Bed, Bath and Beyond and I had a fist full of coupons (actually a console in the car full), we went in and bought a mattress pad and sheet set. I already have the new bedspread and valances at home. Once that gets delivered I can put the table leaf and table pads back under the bed and get them out of the other bedroom.

I spent the rest of the day doing laundry and paperwork. Of course I was excited for Amazing Race to start but my Oklahoma cowboys are in trouble already and it is "to be continued."

I'm walking with Gerre this morning. We are in training for our 5K Rodeo Run next Saturday. Then I have bunco at 10 followed by a tile guy coming for an estimate at 3. Our long distance is messed up on Ted's business phone so I have to handle that also. We've got a busy week ahead and I hope by taking it one day at a time I get through it all and enjoy the Rodeo Run and the Junior Forum party next weekend.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Now What?

Thursday didn't turn out as planned. Kevin called and said Norcold is now saying we need an optical panel that goes behind the display monitor. We called about five places but no one had one and we didn't have time to wait for one. We have insurance for repairs with a $200 deductible so we opted to deal with this when we get home. Good Sam RV Repair Insurance needs to get involved before anything more can be done.

In the meantime Kara called, Kristin called and Stella called. That gave us a later start than we anticipated. Since we were heading to Mercedes anyway, we wanted to find the Forever Aloe products shop to buy hair gel that Ted likes. Using our GPS, we found two aloe places. Neither one was the one we went to before (the first lady said they had closed). The second shop had styling gel but not the same brand but we bought one anyway.

We were on the road to the bridge to Mexico and thought we would go over and get two things a friend asked for if we went back. When we got close we realized we didn't have our passports with us so that was out. BUT ... we were in the vicinity of Fat Daddy's BBQ that has been praised by so many RVers. So we had lunch. After a good size chopped brisket sandwich we drove past the fairgrounds. It was so windy we weren't sure you would be able to hear the music in this outdoor venue so we went to the Outlet mall instead. I found some summer things and I'll be able to leave more things in the trailer and not drag so much back and forth.

It was after 4 when we got home and Dave came over to visit. Karen came to get him and she was all dolled up. They were going dancing at Mission Bell where there is a dance each Thurday night. They take classes at Bentsen Palms and their teacher and class were all attending.

Ted started getting his outside things done and I did some inside things. We watched TV until bedtime. We were up and out by 9 this morning and arrived in Victoria early this afternoon. Going to the valley from Victoria, we had to stop for fuel because we were running too close. We had a strong headwind. Coming here we made it without the fuel light going off. We got 8.5 mpg with the tailwind instead of what we got going down into a headwind. Thats's still much less than the 10.5-11 mpg we got with the old truck and trailer.

When we got ready to leave, I put the refrigerator on LP after Ted pulled the trailer plug. It stopped beeping. We had tried it on LP while the trailer was plugged in and it didn't stop beeping. We tried unplugging the refrigerator from the back and it didn't stop beeping. At the rest area, it was still not beeping. So we plugged in when we got here, I put it on electric instead of LP and guess what - it is not beeping!! We are going to contact Norcold and see if maybe the trailer electrical system reset the refrigerator monitor some way. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


We had a great time at the HitchHiker luncheon. There were at least 10 Haulin' HitchHiker couples from our sub-group there and around 40 other International HitchHiker couples as well. The Missouri-Kansas group was well represented. It was so good to see our friends, most of whom we haven't seen since October at the rally in Montgomery, TX. The luncheon has a new coordinator and she had tags made for our ID hang tags that say Texas Luncheons 2011. That's the first time for that. Our tags are getting pretty long with all we have participated in. They gave away some small door prizes but we didn't win. After lunch and a short meeting, the Haulin' HitchHiker group met outside for a picture.

Laundry was the name of the game when we got home in the afternoon. We are close to the facility so it was nothing to walk down with two loads and get them started. When I walked back, Ted was over at Dave's so I stopped there. Eventually Karen came back and we all visited for awhile. The weather has been really nice since last Friday and is supposed to stay that way.

We hung around on Tuesday waiting for the repairman. Our new switches were sent overnight to him and we didn't want to miss his arrival. He eventually called and said it would be later in the day so we we took off to get a few things at the store and to stop at Starbucks for a Texas or Rio Grande Valley cup but none were to be found. They said only bigger cities have them. I was looking for a friend and she'll be disappointed when I tell her.

When we got back I could hear the jam session going on in the rally hall. We are parked right across the street. Ted went over and I followed later on after things were put away. But I couldn't find him. Then I looked outside and he was in line for the fruit peddler buying pineapple, grapefruit and bananas again. I brought those home then went back to join him for the balance of the session.

Kevin finally arrived, put in the new switches and voila! - nothing happened! Beep, beep, beep!! He had said all along he didn't think this was the problem but Norcold insisted. Because it was too late to call them, he said he would contact them first thing this morning and see if they can find "what happens next." They probably have a computer screen where they type in the problem, get an answer, and give that to you. Much like the book told me to "close the door." I'm afraid we won't get this settled before we leave and will have to take the trailer to Thorton's when we get home.

I am happy the refrigerator is working and beeping versus not working and not beeping. We don't pay attention to it during the day especially if the TV is on and it hasn't been a problem for me sleeping with the earplugs in. Nothing bothers Ted sleeping.

It was going on 7 by the time Kevin left so we opted to go up the street to Tio Chuy to eat. But they close at 7 and we had to drive towards McAllen. We ended up at Cracker Barrel because it was the first restaurant we came to when we got off the expressway. I got a chuckle out of the lady behind us who ordered mac & cheese, steak fries and mashed potatoes as her three sides. A real carb fest!

Depending on what happens with Kevin this morning, we may or may not make it to the fruit market. Ted is shooting with the fellows from the park this afternoon and we thought we would have plenty of time.

Tomorrow we are going to the Music Festival at the Rio Grand Valley Fairgrounds in Mercedes. We've attended a rodeo there before. Friday we head to Victoria and home on Saturday. I'll have a lot of catching up to do over the weekend because next week is busy. I'm glad I didn't mention the bags of fruit to Chris at home. If we don't make it to get them, he won't be disappointed.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

And the B(l)eep Goes On

We left Stella and Jay at the flea market heading to the produce barn on Saturday afternoon. We said we would check with them later. We returned home and Ted took off with some of our neighbors to shoot skeet. Stella called and invited us to go eat with them and Tom & Judy but it was mid-afternoon and Ted wasn't home anyway. I invited them to come play bingo at our park in the evening but they needed to do laundry and get things ready to depart today. So we said our goodbyes and will see them back at Rayford next weekend.

We decided to go to Mass at 5:30 since we weren't going to be playing bingo. Our trips to Our Lady of Guadalupe are always interesting and yesterday was no different. When we walked past the priest's house, both donkeys were in the front yard. The big one is Alice but she was retired over a year ago because she tried to bite someone at midnight Mass. The miniature one was introduced to us last February when she was brought into church during the feast of the Presentation. Fr. Roy said Joseph and Mary had to get to the temple some way so they probably rode their donkey. Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the donkey all walked down the aisle.

Fr. Roy always chooses country western CD songs to play before Mass and when the collection is taken up. Our song before Mass was Johnny Cash's I Walk the Line. Fr. Roy, Auggie and Chunley walked down the aisle all dressed in red. The dogs had hearts on their red coats. Fr. Roy was carrying a 7 week old pup, 5th generation of his original dog Magna. (Sixth St. in Mission is named Magna for her.) He said he wasn't saying Mass but he wanted to introduce us to the new pup, Valentine. Our collection song was one I didn't know "You Live Your Life For Me."

I noticed this Mass was not as crowded as the Sunday Masses; in fact, it is the first time we ever got a seat. We decided reasons could be 1) because Fr. Roy didn't say Mass; or 2) Early Bird dinners are only good from 4-6 and you would miss that; or 3) by 6:30 it's dark and they couldn't drive home. Just my conjectures!

Today Barbara and Roger from Haulin' HitchHikers came by for a visit. We sat outside and talked before going next door to Mission West for the ice cream social and to give them a chance to look at that park. There was a Gospel Sing going on in the hall while we ate our ice cream. Strangely enough, one of the songs was I'm The One Who Loves You, one of Fr. Roy's favorites!

They had just dropped us off when Dave came over and invited us to a brat cook out that was just getting started. I quickly defrosted the shrimp I had, put a tray together of chips and salsa and grabbed a bottle of wine. Always ready for a party!

We met some more of the folks parked around us and had an enjoyable time. Ted has another shooting date for Wednesday with a couple of the fellows.

We have the HitchHiker luncheon tomorrow where we'll see Barbara and Roger again. They said Bill & Judy are down now so we hope to see them too. It's always fun to see who shows up at these lunches.

The b(l)eeping beeping continues!! I'm wearing earplugs at night and that works! Sure hope the part comes in soon!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Beep, Beep, Beep

Jay & Stella picked me up at 9 o'clock Wednesday morning and it was about 70 degrees. I had on a top with 3/4 length sleeves, capris and sandals. A half hour later when we arrived at the Chicken Opry and the cold front moved through it dropped to 50 degrees and the building is not heated, but it is insulated. I figured I was going to freeze over the next 5 hours. A couple and a man came and sat next to us in our row. I told him I was glad he arrived because I was counting on him and Stella to provide body heat to keep me warm. At the break he went to his truck and brought me in an extra jacket he had. What a guy! I don't think I would have enjoyed the show as much if I had not gotten warm.

We saw four families, two from Missouri and two from Alaska, perform. I really liked the Alaska String Band. They wore native costumes in shades of red, pink and black. The lady explained what they were called by the Eskimos, what their purpose was and that she had made them herself. They also told Alaska folk tales and then sang the songs written about them sort of like Gordon Lightfoot's The Edmond Fitzgerald.

We had seen the Link Family last year and voted them best entertainers in the valley that season. The Redhead Express was a family of 9 (7 kids plus a dog) that moved from Alaska to Nashville to break into music. They are doing very well for themselves and are extremely talented. The fourth family from Missouri also did a fine job but seemed to lack the stage presence of the other groups. But their music was enjoyable.

While we were at the show Ted took the newspaper people to lunch. It was so cold and windy that his shooting was canceled. I had started a smoked sausage, apple and onion dish in the crockpot and that's what we had for dinner. Our rally hall is not heated so the activities over there are curtailed somewhat until the temperature improves.

Thursday we joined Jay & Stella who were serving as ambassadors at a Heartland luncheon held at Ron Hoover RV. We went as SOBs (some other brand) and had lunch with about 200 people. We weren't the only SOBs in the group however. We met some others. We ate lunch with a nice couple from Iowa who just started RVing again and this was their first trip to the valley. There were great door prizes - a TV, printer, etc. The two numbers in front of ours and the one behind all won prizes, but not us!

The weather finally turned nice on Friday and the sunshine was a welcome sight. All of the blooming plants in the park have turned brown and it will probably be fall before they come back into bloom. Nick came to wash the trailer so we were hanging around. When I shut the refrigerator door while getting lunch stuff out, the alarm went off flashing dr meaning the door isn't closed tight. I opened, closed, shoved, pushed, etc. and it would not stop. I checked the book and it said "Close the door." Been there, done that.

Ted called HitchHiker and Norcold and neither of them offered any solution that worked so we called a repairman. He tried some stuff, got Norcold on the phone and they determined the sensor switches are bad and need to be replaced. Hopefully they can get them down here early in the week so he can change them out before we leave. The bad news - the alarm is still beeping, beeping, beeping! It has been going on for a whole day and will continue unless we turn the refrigerator off or the switches get replaced. I wore earplugs to bed last night. During the day you get to the point where you don't pay any attention to it but at night I'd never sleep with all that beeping. It didn't bother Ted though.

This morning we met Jay & Stella at Furr's for the breakfast buffet and then went to the flea market. I was in pursuit of card shufflers for our new Canasta group. I gave them one I had at home and they need at least three more for the other tables. I found three of them but Irene wanted six total if I could get them. They said they would have more by Wednesday when the market opens again. We'll try to get back over there and get the rest. I bought some spices and some greeting cards and that was it. We'll buy our produce on Wednesday before we leave. We'll get oranges, grapefruit, pineapple and onions to take home with us. We'll get bags of each and share some with Chris to give to his mother. I know Gloria will like that.

Ted has gone shooting now and I'm listening to the beep, beep, beep! Just one little bump in the road of RVing!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Down In The Valley

We left Saturday morning once the temperature went above freezing. It took us about 3.5 hours to arrive in Victoria. We stayed at a different park this time - Gateway to the Gulf RV. It is more convenient than Lazy Longhorn which is more in town. Also, Gateway is much easier to navigate around in but is not as pretty of a park. Since we only spend the night, that doesn't concern us.

We set up, unhooked and drove into town. We got fuel, picked up batteries at Wal-Mart then went to church at Our Lady of Victory Cathedral. It was very pretty and had a wonderful choir. Afterwards we went to Carino's for dinner.

We slept in and left about 10 on Sunday. The sun was shining and the temp got into the 70s as we made our way south. We took 77 to 83 and started heading west when our fuel light came on. We decided to make a stop at Flying J rather than risk running out. The new truck is a gas hog and we're still learning how far we can go on a tank of diesel. We arrived at Bentsen Palms and checked in and got set up. We called Jay and Stella and decided to go out to eat dinner. We went to Furr's, one of their favorite places. We had not eaten all day and it was the quickest and pleases everyone. We made plans to go to Mexico on Monday and then eat hamburgers at their park afterwards.

We checked with those in the park and they said Progreso is still safe, they have had no problems so we drove to the bridge Monday and walked across to our Almost Free Pharmacy. We bought Ted's Nexium generic over there for the rest of the year at a cost of under $20. He has used this medicine to make sure it works and it does. I bought Retin-A skin cream for me. Jay and Stella had lists from others and took some time to conduct their transaction. Afterwards we had to find a Rolex watch for Jay and he found a nice $10,000 watch for $15. Imagine that! I bought a vase to replace one that got broken while decorating for Christmas and we came back. We told Customs we bought antacids, face cream and a vase and they ran our passports and waved us through. Stella showed him her bag of medicines and he did the same to them. The temperature hit 81.

We came back to their park where they start serving burgers at 3:00 until the jam session starts at 6 pm. I think they serve over 600 burgers each Monday. We ate early and went to their trailer and sat outside. Judy came down and visited for awhile too. As the sun went down it got cool and we left to come home. Another friend stopped by after we left so they sat out for some time.

Today we went to Gonzales for lunch before going to the ropa usadas and the ropa nuevos. This has become a regular thing to do while down here. We have found some we like better than others and have a ball rooting through the clothes. Some are new, some are on hangers, some are unclaimed from dry cleaners, some are overruns and some are just in piles. My big find last year was a pair of wool Ralph Lauren lined slacks that fit so perfectly I didn't even need to have them hemmed. Price - 60 cents!

We came home and found a jam session going on at our park. The fruit peddler and butcher had also arrived. Ted bought a pineapple and some grapefruit while I got us each a drink. We enjoyed the music that spanned all genres. They ended with a rousing finish of Mustang Sally with the crowd joining in "ride, Sally, ride." We are home now watching the news on TV.

We received sad news in that my sister-in-law's brother has died. He has been fighting leukemia for some time. We were so very sorry to hear this news.

Tomorrow Ted has lunch with the McAllen Monitor folks. Jay, Stella and I are going to a 5 hour show at the Chicken Opry. We've seen some of these performers before and they are some of the best who perform in the valley. Ted will probably go shooting with our neighbor across the way after his lunch. It will all work out I'm sure.

We're supposed to get some cool temperatures mid week and the wind has certainly picked up. Such is life in the valley.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Not To Worry

We have decided to wait until Saturday to leave because of the weather forecast between here and the Rio Grande Valley. We talked to the campground in Victoria yesterday and they said all the water hoses were frozen and they were experiencing rolling blackouts, things were a mess. Debbie suggested we wait until Saturday when it is to be 60 and sunny to arrive. I had to do a little convincing to get Ted to agree but I just stood my ground. Traveling in the car is one thing; pulling the RV is something else. They are not prepared to take care of icy roads down here and heading out to where the weather is as bad or worse than where you are is foolish.

So I went for my mammogram and got in and out before my appointment time. Since it was an hour and a half until Happy Hour I just came home. Ted was fixing chili for dinner, it's cold outside, so I stayed home.

Now I have two days with nothing planned. Carol was going to pick up my Chik Fil A order on Friday for a funeral but now I can do that myself. I think we'll just stay in and stay warm. The bad weather is supposed to start this afternoon. So far we haven't been affected by the rolling blackouts that others have experienced.

I hope the next time I write it will be from the valley. Jay & Stella are looking forward to our arrival as much as we are looking forward to getting there.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Not Quite Finished

Well I did get KFC for dinner Saturday because things were even more of a mess than the night before because they had painted the family room, back hall and bedroom. You have to keep moving things out of the way and all h*ll breaks loose.

But the painting was done and I spent the entire day Saturday putting things back. The secretary, bookcases and china cabinet took up the most time. Of course I had to wash everything before it went back. Ted, on the other hand, went shooting in Madisonville and came home second in his class. Honestly, I work better by myself when handling delicate things but I was pooped by the end of the day.

Here are two pictures of the family room with the new Sensational Sand on the walls. It matches the fireplace surround much better than the picture is showing.

So we went to church on Sunday morning and I cooked breakfast when we returned. I pressed the valances for the back bedroom only to find the rod I had was not going to work. So I ordered one from JCP and didn't do anything else in there. We still have to buy the new bed. Irene stopped by for a visit and I cooked dinner. We could have gone to Tommy Bahamas with the dining group but I knew I would be too tired -- and I was!

It took 10 days to get the tile estimate for the backsplash and it will just have to wait until we return. Chris doesn't want to be in charge of overseeing that and I don't blame him. Monday I went to the gastroenterologist to schedule my colonoscopy for late February. I was up and out early on Tuesday. I made a stop at the bank, then at Walgreen's before going to the Hand Me Up shop to work with Judy and Jacque. We worked until noon and then the three of us went to Olive Oil to eat lunch. Judy was not familiar with Greek food but she really liked it. I just had a raspberry salad but did enjoy the pita bread, feta and oil appetizer we got. My favorite is still Olga's in Michigan but Jacque said that sounds Swedish. I think she's right! But it's the only place I eat lamb.

One last stop at Wal-Mart for some groceries and I made it home. All of what I bought is to take with us to Mission. I think we are heading out tomorrow while no precipitation is forecast. We may have to hold up in Victoria two nights instead of one if rain/sleet/snow hits the lower part down toward the valley. I hope we make the right call. I'd rather just wait until Saturday to go but you know who wants to go tomorrow. Chris said to just let him know when we leave and he'll come down to stay. He's liking Ted's Wii Sports.

I have my mammogram this afternoon followed by Happy Hour. Then it will be home to get the clothes and food in the RV ready for a departure tomorrow as long as it is above 32 degrees. I don't want to hit any ice.